When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Products or services may be offered by an affiliated entity. Learn more.

Also known as viscoelastic foam, memory foam contours in response to heat and pressure. The material provides a supportive, pressure-relieving cradle that makes it ideal for use in pillows.

Memory foam pillows can be solid or shredded, and many of the best pillows today feature cooling techniques to battle the heat retention that was typical of traditional memory foam. Pillows made of this moldable and highly versatile material are widely available in all budgets.

Whether you suffer from neck pain or whether you’re simply looking for a pillow that will support your spine and help you get a better night’s sleep, look no further. We’ve rounded up some of our top picks and compiled a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best memory foam pillow.

In-Depth Reviews

Price Range

$155 – $175


Shredded gel memory foam



The Saatva Memory Foam Pillow is another great option for sleepers whose loft preferences change from night to night. It features a removable inner pillow made of graphite-infused memory foam, along with a shredded memory foam core. Simply remove the inner pillow to adjust the thickness and feel of the pillow.

The cover is composed of breathable organic cotton quilted with phase-change material, which helps the pillow maintain a cool temperature. As a result, this pillow is suitable for anyone who normally finds memory foam too hot. Air also circulates freely through the shredded core, and this foam is infused with gel to draw heat away from your body. The dual memory foam layers also ensure even conforming and relief for any aches and pains in your neck or shoulders.

The cover can be machine washed and dried, but spot cleaning is recommended for the inner memory foam pillow. Saatva offers free ground shipping to all customers in the contiguous U.S. The pillow can be returned within 45 days of delivery, even if it has been used or laundered. It is also backed by a one-year warranty against material defects.

Price Range

$65 – $85


80% memory foam, 20% polyester fiber



The Marlow Pillow is both lofty and conforming, making it a comfortable option for side sleepers or those with neck pain. The pillow also has an adjustable design that allows sleepers to pick a firmness and loft that works best for their needs.

The pillow is filled with a memory foam and polyester blend that contours closely to your head and neck. The pillow is encased in a cotton shell, providing a soft, breathable surface. While most pillows offer a single firmness, the Marlow has a unique zippered construction that lets sleepers adjust both the firmness and loft with an easy zip. Those who prefer a firmer and loftier pillow can zip the side of the pillow closed. If you enjoy pillows that are softer and thinner, simply unzip the side.

Side sleepers need a pillow that is lofty enough to support their head but conforming enough to cradle their neck, preventing pressure buildup. With its memory foam fill and adjustability options, the Marlow is a great choice for side sleepers to find the perfect match for their needs. The pillow is also ideal for people whose loft and firmness preferences might change from night to night.

The Marlow Pillow comes with a 2-year warranty and a generous 365-day return policy, which is rare for a pillow. The pillows ships for free within the contiguous U.S.

Price Range

$129 – $149


Open-cell memory foam



Memory foam is notorious for trapping heat, The Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Memory Foam Pillow has a cover made from proprietary fabric designed to promote airflow and sleep cool. By drawing heat away from your body, this material can offset the uncomfortable warmth that often occurs when memory foam traps heat.

The core is composed of solid memory foam that contours evenly around the head and neck. Customers can choose from two options in terms of thickness level. The 4.5-inch thickness is a mid-range loft that should be suitable for back sleepers, while the thicker 6-inch design provides the elevated support many side sleepers need. A medium feel ensures most people can enjoy the foam’s gentle cushioning without sinking too deeply into the pillow. You can remove and machine-wash the cover whenever it needs a cleaning.

Brooklyn Bedding offers the pillow in queen and king sizes. The price-points for both are quite approachable compared to memory foam pillows from competing brands, and all customers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free ground shipping. The sleep trial lasts 30 nights, and all orders are backed by a 1-year warranty against structural defects.

Price Range

$100 – $115


Down alternative, shredded gel-infused memory foam, and solid gel-infused memory foam



Much like mattresses, pillows play a major role in how evenly your spine is aligned — for better or worse. The Luxome LAYR Customizable Pillow is fully adjustable to ensure the ideal loft and firmness level for your sleep position, head size, and shoulder width. Each pillow comes with a total of four inserts. You may use as many inserts as you need to sleep comfortably, and rearranging them can change how firm the pillow feels.

Two of the inserts contain solid memory foam, measuring 1 and 2 inches thick. These inserts feel fairly firm. The insert containing shredded memory foam is plusher and more adaptive, while the down alternative insert is quite soft. We recommend testing out a few different arrangements to determine which — and how many — inserts create the optimal surface for your head and neck. A cover made of breathable, moisture-wicking viscose encases the pillow. Side vents provide additional cooling. You can machine wash the cover and liners for each of the inserts.

During our hands-on tests, side sleepers felt most comfortable with three or four of the inserts in place, and the majority preferred the shredded memory foam insert on top. Our back sleepers enjoyed two to three inserts with the solid foam on top, while stomach sleepers only needed one to two inserts. Temperature control tests indicate the pillow sleeps exceptionally cool given the foam-based components. We also awarded high marks for pressure relief and shape retention.

Standard and king sizes are available. The LAYR Customizable Pillow is reasonably priced, and you’ll receive a 50% discount if you purchase two. You can also add a set of pillowcases to your order for an extra fee. Luxome offers free ground shipping within the contiguous U.S., and backs each pillow with a 30-night trial and return period.

Price Range

$123 – $136


Solid memory foam



Sleeping position is one of the most important factors when choosing a new pillow. If you’re a side sleeper, you should consider a thicker pillow that fills the space between your head and downward-facing shoulder — otherwise you’re likely to wake up with a stiff or sore neck. The Helix GlacioTex Cooling Memory Foam Pillow is available in two profiles, including a high-loft 5.25-inch design specifically designed for side sleeping. The soft, adaptive foam core contours evenly to support your neck, cradle your head, and promote even alignment along your spine.

A cooling GlacioTex cover encases the foam. This proprietary fabric is engineered to dissipate body heat on contact and feel cool to the touch at all times, making the pillow suitable for year-round use. Our testers found this pillow sleeps much cooler than many competing memory foam models, and the GlacioTex has moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry on humid nights. You may remove and machine-wash the cover for quick, easy cleaning.

If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, or a combination sleeper who uses both positions, we recommend using the 4.75-inch pillow instead. This lower loft helps ensure minimal neck strain when lying in either position. The solid foam core delivers excellent shape retention, so you should never need to fluff the pillow. Standard and king sizes are available. 

The GlacioTex Cooling Memory Foam Pillow carries an approachable sticker price, and standard ground shipping is free of charge for shoppers in all 50 states. Helix’s sleep trial allows you to test the pillow for up to 100 nights. If you choose to return it during this time frame, you’ll receive a full refund. A one-year warranty further backs your purchase should you decide to keep the pillow.

Price Range

$119 – $159


Solid Memory Foam


Extra Firm

Tempur-Pedic’s reputation for high-quality sleep products is firmly established, and high-density TEMPUR memory foam is one of the main reasons. The TEMPUR-Neck Pillow contains solid TEMPUR foam and boasts an ergonomic shape, ensuring optimal neck support and comfortable cushioning for your head. This foam is remarkably durable, so the pillow can potentially perform for years of nightly use before indentations develop.

Three sizes are available, each with a unique loft. Our tests show the small size is best suited to stomach sleeping due to its 3.5-inch profile, which gently lifts the neck without causing strain. Side sleepers on our team preferred the large size for its 4.75-inch profile. More loft helps ensure adequate cushioning between the head and downward-facing shoulder, which in turn improves alignment and reduces pressure buildup along the spine. Our back sleepers were mixed, with some enjoying the large pillow and others feeling more comfortable on the 4-inch medium model.

Dense foam tends to absorb and trap heat, but the TEMPUR-Neck Pillow is encased in a breathable knit cover that helps offset heat retention. A cooling pillowcase can further aid hot sleepers and people prone to night sweats. You may remove and machine wash the cover as needed, but do not expose the TEMPUR material to water — this can warp and permanently damage the foam.

The TEMPUR-Neck Pillow carries an approachable price-point compared to other models made of high-density foam, and shipping is free of charge to customers in the contiguous U.S. Tempur-Pedic does not allow you to return the pillow once it’s been used, so all sales are final unless damage occurs during delivery, but your order comes with a 5-year warranty against structural and material defects.

Price Range

$89 – $104


70% shredded memory foam, 30% polyester fiber


Medium Firm

The Layla Memory Foam Pillow is a foam and polyester model that closely conforms to your head without compromising support. The balanced design and adjustable loft are ideal for sleepers who are looking for a supportive pillow that doesn’t elevate the neck too high.

The pillow has a polyester cover and contains a blend of shredded memory foam and polyester fibers. Foam is known for its adaptive and moldable properties, so pressure relief is one of this pillow’s major strengths. The shredded design of the foam allows some airflow through the pillow, making it cooler than solid foam pillows we’ve tested.

You can add or remove the fill as needed in order to achieve a thickness that feels just right for you. Side sleepers typically enjoy higher lofts to fill the space between the neck and sleep surface, while back sleepers often enjoy a medium loft. The adjustable design is especially well suited for stomach sleepers, who usually need a very low loft to avoid neck strain. These sleepers can remove as much fill as they need to achieve a comfortable thickness.

Layla offers a 30-night sleep trial and a five-year warranty. Shipping is free to addresses in the contiguous U.S.

Price Range

$99 – $129


Memory foam


Medium Soft, Firm

The Silk & Snow Eco Soy Pillow is a solid memory foam pillow available in two firmness options. A cooling cover helps offset some of the heat retention that our testers normally associate with memory foam, so we recommend this model if you love the feel of foam but are prone to sleeping hot.

You can choose between a soft or firm version of the pillow. Side sleepers will benefit more from the firm option, since this sleep position needs full support for the head and neck. Back sleepers will probably find either firmness option comfortable, depending on personal preferences. That said, back sleeping typically benefits from firmer models to keep the neck and spine aligned. The soft model is a better bet for stomach sleepers, though this group may find the Eco Soy Pillow is overall too firm and thick.

The pillow is composed entirely of memory foam, which conforms closely to your head and neck for strong pressure relief. The foam is encased in a cover made of Tencel lyocell, which has natural cooling properties to help keep the pillow surface cool. You can remove the cover and wash it in your household machine.

Silk & Snow offers a 100-night sleep trial to try the pillow at home. After a 30-day break-in period, you may return the pillow for a full refund. The pillow also comes with a three-year warranty. Shipping is free to the contiguous U.S. and all Canadian provinces.




Solid memory foam



Sleep position is an important consideration for pillow shoppers, but this process can be especially challenging for combination sleepers who use two or more positions on any given night. Ostrichpillow’s Memory Foam Pillow features an ergonomic design intended to provide adequate neck support regardless of how you sleep. The pillow is slightly elevated to lift and support the neck, while the area beneath the head is recessed to create a cradling effect our testers likened to lying on a cloud.

A 5-inch profile makes the pillow particularly well suited for combination sleepers who switch between their side and back. The high loft should provide sufficient cushioning and promote proper alignment for side sleepers without elevating the neck too much for back sleepers. A cover made of breathable modal fabric encases the pillow. Our tests show this material effectively offsets heat retention from the foam, so you can enjoy the pressure-relieving effect without sleeping uncomfortably warm. The cover’s lining is composed of recycled polyester.

You may remove and machine-wash the cover as needed, so the pillow is easy to keep clean. Five colors are available for the cover. For a small fee, you can add an additional pillowcase to your order. The Memory Foam Pillow is competitively priced, and those who order two pillows receive a 10% discount. 

Standard ground delivery is free for all customers in the contiguous U.S., and those in Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada qualify for reasonable flat-rate shipping. All orders include a generous 100-night sleep trial, as well as a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty for those who choose to keep the pillow.

How to Choose a Memory Foam Pillow

Memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam that’s been treated with chemicals to give it special properties. It’s also known as viscoelastic foam, a moniker that accurately describes the way the material softens and contours in response to heat and pressure, gradually regaining its shape once heat and pressure are lifted.

Memory foam is popular in pillows because it molds to the head and neck, providing a supportive surface that can be shaped to the user’s liking. This close-conforming material is unrivaled in its ability to alleviate pressure points.

In this section, we’ll delve deeper into the pros and cons of memory foam and cover some of the most important aspects to look for when purchasing a memory foam pillow.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Memory Foam Pillow

The market is flooded with manufacturers who tinker with their memory foam to give it different qualities, such as using gel infusions to achieve better temperature neutrality. Some proprietary foams do succeed in their aims, but it can be very difficult to tell before trying the pillow out for yourself.

Before you shop for a memory foam pillow, it’s important to understand the basics behind how they are constructed and what kind of options exist. Focusing on the following factors can help you see past the marketing hype to choose the best memory foam pillow for you.

Memory foam pillows come in two types: one-piece and shredded.

  • One-Piece: One-piece memory foam pillows are made of a single solid block of memory foam. This can either be in the shape of a traditional pillow, or in a tailored shape that mimics the curves of the head and neck. One-piece memory foam pillows conform very closely and have a slower response to pressure. They tend to go back to their original shape when you take your head off the pillow.
  • Shredded: Shredded memory foam pillows can either contain 100 percent memory foam or be blended with other materials such as latex or fiberfill. The advantage of using shredded memory foam is that users can add or remove filling to adjust the pillow loft to their liking, as well as customize the shape of the pillow to a certain extent. Shredded memory foam generally allows more room for airflow compared to a one-piece memory foam pillow.

Here are some other factors to consider when buying your pillow:

  • Sleeping Position: Your sleeping position is one of the main things that will dictate what type of pillow you should choose. One-piece memory foam pillows tend to be higher and better-suited to side sleepers, while stomach sleepers often prefer shredded memory foam pillows with most of the loft taken out.

“Side sleepers tend to need a high-loft pillow for support and to fill the space beneath the head and neck to promote proper spinal alignment. Keep your head and neck in alignment at around 30 degrees with the help of a good pillow so your airway stays open during the night, allowing air to flow from your nose to your lungs without obstruction.”

Sarah Silverman, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist and holistic sleep wellness consultant who treats patients in New York and Florida.

  • Price: Memory foam pillows have an average price-point, with shredded memory foam pillows running at a slightly higher price-point than one-piece pillows. Some companies offer free pillows along with a mattress purchase, which can be a good option if the pillow matches your needs.
  • Pressure Relief: Memory foam offers exceptional pressure relief, and both one-piece and shredded memory foam pillows conform closely to prevent pressure build-up in the head and neck. Because of its conforming abilities, memory foam is often used in specialized orthopedic pillows to help people with neck pain or other problems.
  • Quality Materials: Memory foam eventually loses its ability to bounce back to its original shape, which in turn affects its pressure-relieving capabilities. A pillow with higher-quality foam will last longer than an inferior one – a difference that is often reflected in the price.
  • Firmness Level: The ideal firmness level for your pillow depends on your sleep position, body type, and personal preference. Most memory foam pillows are medium soft to medium. One-piece memory foam pillows offer just one firmness level, but many shredded memory foam pillows allow users to customize the firmness level somewhat by adding or removing the filling.
  • Loft: A pillow with the right loft, or height, will help keep your head and back aligned and prevent neck pain. One-piece memory foam pillows usually have a medium to high loft, while shredded memory foam pillows can have the loft adjusted to virtually any height. While not as customizable as shredded memory foam pillows, some solid-foam pillows have removable inserts for users to choose between two or more settings.
  • Cooling Properties: Heat build-up in your pillow can make you uncomfortably warm and disrupt your sleep. Memory foam is notorious for heat retention, although today’s manufacturers use many techniques to get around this. Of course, shredded memory foam naturally allows more room for airflow, so all other things being equal, a shredded pillow will sleep cooler than a one-piece pillow.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Memory Foam Pillow?

Memory foam has unsurpassed contouring abilities that make it one of the best pillow materials for pressure relief and support. However, memory foam has some drawbacks as well, the most notable of which is its tendency to trap heat. The material also has a slow response to pressure that some people like, but that can be restrictive when changing positions.

  • Close-conforming pressure relief: Memory foam softens in response to heat and pressure, molding itself to fit the shape of your body and prevent pressure build-up.
  • Support: Because memory foam remains fairly firm in the areas that are not immediately adjacent to the head and neck, the material forms a supportive cradle that promotes healthy spinal alignment and reduces neck pain and headaches.
  • Price: While not the cheapest pillows out there, memory foam pillows offer a luxurious feel at a much lower price than natural or organic products.
  • Noise: Memory foam absorbs movement and produces little to no noise, minimizing sleep disruptions to you and your partner.
  • Customizability: The viscous nature of memory foam means manufacturers can mold it into virtually any shape, which is why it’s commonly used in orthopedic pillows.
  • Availability: Memory foam pillows are a popular product that you’re sure to find virtually anywhere pillows are sold.
  • Allergen Resistant: Memory foam mattresses are generally resistant to dust mites and bacteria, making them a good choice for allergy sufferers as long as you’re not allergic to the foam itself.
  • Sleeps hot: Memory foam is notorious for trapping heat, leading many sleepers to find it uncomfortably warm.
  • Slow response to pressure: Memory foam is not very responsive, which may lead some people to feel “stuck” when trying to shift sleeping positions.
  • Durability: Memory foam pillows usually last three years at most, since the material eventually loses its ability to regain its shape.
  • Off-gassing: Like all synthetic foams, memory foam releases some initial “off-gassing” odors when it is first unpacked.

One-Piece vs. Shredded Memory Foam Pillows

Here are some of the major ways in which one-piece and shredded memory foam pillows differ:

  • Customization: Both one-piece and shredded memory foam pillows can be customized to a certain extent. Shredded memory foam pillows frequently have a zipper that allows users to open the pillow and add or remove filling to adjust the loft. It’s a good idea to hang on to the filling in case you ever want to make the pillow higher. Although not customizable to the same extent as shredded memory foam pillows, one-piece pillows sometimes have removable inserts that give users several choices of loft.
  • Moldability: Shredded memory foam pillows have a significant advantage over one-piece pillows in that they can be molded to virtually any shape. This is highly convenient for people who like to use their pillow in different positions.
  • Weight: Memory foam pillows weigh more than fiberfill or down equivalents, with many weighing 5 pounds or more. By design, shredded memory foam weighs less than the equivalent volume in solid foam.
  • Heat Retention: Shredded memory foam pillows generally maintain a more neutral temperature, since the design leaves room for airflow between the pieces. That said, some one-piece memory foam pillows feature ventilation or cut-out channels that allow air to flow freely and carry heat away.
  • Fluffing: One-piece memory foam pillows are low-maintenance and don’t need to be fluffed. Shredded memory foam pillows can become lumpy if not regularly fluffed, but the advantage of shredded pillows is that many of them can be machine-washed.
  • Support: One-piece memory foam pillows are usually firmer and keep their shape better than shredded memory foam pillows, which may need to be readjusted every time you switch positions.

Who is Best Suited to a Memory Foam Pillow?

Memory foam pillows are generally best suited to side sleepers, back sleepers, and anyone who suffers from neck pain or who prefers a pillow with a higher loft. While your best pillow will partly depend on your body type and personal preference, here are some general considerations for choosing a memory foam pillow according to sleep position and other factors.

  • Sleepers with Neck Pain: Many sleepers successfully reduce neck pain with a cervical memory foam pillow. Thanks to the moldability of memory foam, these pillows are able to cradle the natural curves of the neck and head to provide the needed support.
  • Side Sleepers: Side sleepers need a higher, firmer pillow that supports the head and eases pressure on the shoulders. Memory foam pillows fit the bill, especially firmer one-piece memory foam pillows, and can often be further customized according to individual preferences.
  • Back Sleepers: Back sleepers do best with a moderately lofty pillow that keeps the spine at a natural angle. The ability of memory foam to compress in response to pressure makes it a perfect candidate for many back sleepers, as it allows the sleeper’s head to sink in just far enough to be at a comfortable height with respect to the body.
  • Sleepers Who Enjoy High Loft: Most memory foam pillows are quite high, and shredded memory foam pillows can be stuffed to the brim to make them even higher. This makes them ideal for people who like a pillow with a high loft.

Who is not suited:

  • Hot Sleepers: Memory foam is known for trapping heat, so it’s not the best choice for those who naturally run warm or who live in hot climates. If you sleep hot but you like the feel of memory foam, there is the option of using a shredded memory foam pillow or a one-piece pillow with ventilation or cut-out air channels. These techniques help improve airflow and reduce heat retention. Some pillows have cooling elements and draw heat away from the sleeper using gel, graphite, or copper infusions, or keep a cool-to-the-touch surface with phase-change material.
  • Stomach Sleepers: Stomach sleepers usually require a flatter pillow to keep the neck aligned with the spine, so although some shredded memory foam pillows are suitable, this isn’t generally the best material. That said, stomach sleepers use their pillows in different ways, so the ideal loft will change from person to person. Some stomach sleepers may be satisfied with the adjustability of a shredded memory foam pillow that allows them to form a pillow with a lower loft.

Which Memory Foam Pillow Sizes Are Available?

Memory foam pillows typically come in the following sizes, although the exact dimensions may vary by manufacturer:

  • Standard (20” x 26”): Standard pillows are the smallest and most commonly used size, and can be used on any size bed.
  • Super Standard (20” x 28”): Super standard pillows are relatively rare. With a length halfway between the size of a standard and a queen pillow, they may be suitable for any mattress up to a queen.
  • Queen (20” x 30”): Queen size pillows are commonly available as an alternative to standard pillows. They give a little more playing room to people who move around during the night, or who like to sleep with their pillow folded or scrunched up.
  • King (20” x 36”): In addition to providing plenty of room while sleeping, king pillows are also one of the most comfortable sizes to lean against while sitting up in bed. Most online bedding companies offer king size pillows.
  • Body Pillow (54” x 20” OR 48” x 20”): Body pillows are long and skinny, meant to be cuddled against. These are most frequently used by side sleepers, who tuck them between the legs to keep the hips aligned and reduce strain on the lumbar area. Body pillows may also be an invaluable sleep tool for pregnant women, and can be a comfortable backrest when sitting.

Frequently Asked Questions About Memory Foam Pillows

How much do memory foam pillows cost?

Decent memory foam pillows usually start around $50 and can go up to $150 or more. Prices vary depending on size, foam density and quality, cooling features, and other features such as special shapes or high-quality covers. Compared with other types of pillows, memory foam pillows are similar to latex pillows, cheaper than buckwheat or down pillows, and more expensive than polyester or down alternative pillows.

How do I clean a memory foam pillow?

Some shredded memory foam pillows can be machine-washed, but most one-piece pillows are spot-clean only. It’s important to note that memory foam can get moldy if not allowed to dry properly, so go easy on the spot-cleaning and try not to get the pillow too wet. Many memory foam pillows have removable covers that can be machine-washed.

Where can I buy a memory foam pillow?

Memory foam pillows are commonly available online as well as in many brick-and-mortar stores.

How long do memory foam pillows last?

The average lifespan of a memory foam pillow is 2-3 years, which is longer than down alternative pillows but not as long as down, latex, or buckwheat pillows.

Even the best memory foam pillows eventually lose their integrity. One-piece pillows start to develop permanent indentations, and shredded memory foam pillows become lumpy. While higher-density memory foam tends to be more durable than lower-density memory foam, the downside is that higher-density memory foam also traps more heat.

Regular cleaning and fluffing can help prolong the longevity of a shredded memory foam pillow. Since one-piece pillows are prone to developing mildew when wet, the best you can do is keep them as clean as possible and wash the pillowcase regularly.

Are memory foam pillows adjustable?

Most shredded memory foam pillows offer users the opportunity to adjust the loft by adding or removing filler, and some one-piece pillows have removable inserts. Shredded memory foam pillows can also be scrunched into different shapes if the shape of the cover allows. Many pillows come with gussets meant to help keep the contents in place.

Do memory foam pillows off-gas?

Yes, memory foam is a synthetic material that will release some off-gassing odors. These are the result of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) being released into the air. While they are considered harmless, people who are sensitive to smell may find off-gassing odors bothersome, especially with the material so close to their face. If this sounds like you, try to look for a pillow that’s certified by a third-party organization for low emissions, and let the pillow air out in a well-ventilated space for a few days or even a few weeks before using it.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market.

Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Learn more about our Editorial Team